View Full Version : My Wooden Soldier has arms!!

03-10-2003, 02:40 PM
I finally got around to giving this guy arms.. He was out of action for awhile, because he couldn't do anything without arms.
Anyway, let me know what you think..
(There is a story to follow, but it might take a few years *sigh*)

03-10-2003, 03:53 PM
I don't know... I kind of liked him without arms. He looked more like a pawn.

03-11-2003, 07:03 AM
Yup, I prefered him when he was 'armless also:D

03-11-2003, 08:04 AM
awww! :rolleyes: now I don't know what to do..

Here's a question: How am I supposed to animate him doing anything if he doesn't have arms? Any ideas?

And an image of him without arms for those that didn't see.

03-11-2003, 11:10 AM
its all about the body language. you still have the mustache to mess around with and the hat. you can attain a lot more i think. less is more.

03-11-2003, 11:33 AM
Agreed. The hat can come off his head to suggest surprise, or you could even move it down over where his eyes would be and turn down his mustache to show anger. The way his body leans when he moves opens all kinds of possibilities. The speed at which he moves also can say a lot.

03-11-2003, 11:41 AM
hehe .. does anyone like the arms?

I'm so confused now.. you guys mentioned some great techniques, but what about the ammo belt? doesn't that infer the use of guns and the like?

Sometimes when you have made a model and you look at it for so long, then you go back to it and add something new, it's the freshness of it's appearance that you become attracted to, I think this has happened to me in this case.

03-11-2003, 01:24 PM
Just treat the ammo belt as a prop, he does't need a gun.
Some folk in the UK may recall Michael Bentines 'Potty Time' - he didn't even have characters! Just the odd effect and moving little props to suggest invisible folks - good fun it was too!

There are also lots of instances of little characters without 'faces' or limbs which can give great animation. As James has already said, the mustache can move and the hat to give 'body language'.

On a personal note, I think something like this would be a real breath of fresh air - Plus showing that you don't *have* to build a photo-realistic human just to creaet an animation.

Go for it!


03-11-2003, 02:50 PM
I agree, the body language speaks volumes.

The brain has a tendancy to fill in anything that may be missing. Just look at motion capture sequences for instance. All that's really there are a few reference balls. But with the correct motion the brain sees those balls as a person walking, running or sitting etc.

Gui Lo
03-11-2003, 09:30 PM
IMHO the armless version looks stronger.
Mybe too much detail on the arms.

Hope this helps
Gui Lo

03-11-2003, 10:00 PM
Perhaps to make it easier to have the character perform actions you could use hands that are not attached to the body but kind of floating in the air. Sort of like Rayman.

Just an opinion.

03-11-2003, 11:07 PM
I think he`s really sweet!

Can you do a version with bite marks round his waist where the cat`s played with him??

Floating hands would take away from the `real toy-ness`, but you could get a similar effect with hands attached by springy wires: he`d have a helluva job aiming! Bwoiyoiyoing! :D

What anims do you want to do with him?


03-12-2003, 12:51 AM
I love the springy idea! imagine him jumping down the side of a pot plant and trying to fire at a crow or something.. his arms would be all over the shop!

Here's an exerpt from some ICQ chat I had a while ago with a friend:
Shensing : we need a story

Hurben : something so simple

Shensing : it always is

Hurben : I think an army story could work

Shensing : what happens in the army
are they at/going into/avoiding war?
where is the army?
are they made of wood?

Hurben 27/09/20 1:00 PM they are made of wood

Hurben 27/09/20 1:01 PM they have canvas tents

Shensing 27/09/20 1:01 PM do they fly wooden plans?

Hurben 27/09/20 1:01 PM I think they fly.. volumetrics from under them

Shensing 27/09/20 1:02 PM in what?

Hurben 27/09/20 1:03 PM what?

Shensing 27/09/20 1:03 PM in what do they fly?

Hurben 27/09/20 1:04 PM just them

Shensing 27/09/20 1:04 PM hover or fly?

Hurben 27/09/20 1:05 PM like those metal robot thingies in Lots of

Hurben 27/09/20 1:05 PM with the green smoke

Shensing 27/09/20 1:05 PM who are they fighting

Hurben 27/09/20 1:06 PM inner demons

Hurben 27/09/20 1:06 PM bad thoughts

Hurben 27/09/20 1:06 PM imaginary enemies

Shensing 27/09/20 1:07 PM cool!!!

Hurben 27/09/20 1:07 PM you like

Shensing 27/09/20 1:08 PM so they see these inner thoughts

Shensing 27/09/20 1:08 PM I like

Hurben 27/09/20 1:08 PM like a didease

Shensing 27/09/20 1:09 PM bugs

Hurben 27/09/20 1:09 PM they are all lost in a hallucinagenic
battleground.. fighting for their lives

Shensing 27/09/20 1:11 PM yes i like
they need to fight their inner evils but think
they are an invading foe

Hurben 27/09/20 1:12 PM invading who?

Shensing 27/09/20 1:12 PM the wooden army

Shensing 27/09/20 1:17 PM they think that they are getting invaded by
these thoughts who pull them in to a virtual
battle ground where they fight.
they devolope tech to combat the threat.
but find that when they kill the thought they
kill themself.
it's then they discover that they ones
creating the threats to their lives
It is in fact their own thoughts and worries
that have created a situation that
threatens to destroy their race.

Hurben 27/09/20 1:21 PM haha! thats rad

Shensing 27/09/20 1:22 PM Knowing that they can't kill these foes
without killing themself. They seek a wise out
laying community
who are wise and carm. They have lived from
the land for many generations and are advansed
may of the arts and sciences. This community
had faced the same foe 156 years prior to the
first attack on
the wooden army. They no what they must do to
find peace with the wooden army's greatest

Hurben 27/09/20 1:24 PM "I can sense something approaching..."
"Its something we've never seen before"
"What are those things?!?"
"I feel a strong sense of hatred and a
deepening lack of motivation"

Hurben 27/09/20 1:25 PM they enter a long period of intense meditation
while the wise and calm beings enter the
battlefield of their minds

Shensing 27/09/20 1:28 PM yes together they cast out the invader
thoughts into a 3rd entity

Hurben 27/09/20 1:29 PM the bad gangs.. then a premise of balance is
constructed, with the 3 types of beings living

Shensing 27/09/20 1:29 PM done a story

Hurben 27/09/20 1:30 PM hehe.. not hard is it?

Hurben 27/09/20 1:30 PM its the details that suck

Shensing 27/09/20 1:31 PM but there is a structure there that makes it
easier to fill in the blanks

Hurben 27/09/20 1:31 PM it definately has some life to it

Shensing 27/09/20 1:33 PM three typs of beings, trippy fight scenes,
good v evil and flighing wood

Shensing 27/09/20 1:33 PM what more can you ask for

Hurben 27/09/20 1:34 PM I'm not sure if 3D alone can get that
hallucinagenic feeling to it

Shensing 27/09/20 1:35 PM what else do you need

Shensing 27/09/20 1:35 PM film

Hurben 27/09/20 1:35 PM 2D?

Hurben 27/09/20 1:35 PM maybe compositing

Hurben 27/09/20 1:36 PM it takes too long to render everything out at

Shensing 27/09/20 1:36 PM but i think you have to model it in 3d and
render it with a cartoon plugin
yeah got to composit

03-12-2003, 09:36 AM
I like him without arms too. you could rig some bones for arms that way he could interact with props such as guns and things and they would always move more relistic. In other words you are just using the arm bones to get a relistic feel for the prop interaction but when you render there would be no arms.


03-12-2003, 01:39 PM

looks really cool, but think of worms a long time agon, they didnt have arms (right?) but they still looked cool with the weapons right by their side asif they were holding them with really small arms. worth a shot prehaps


03-13-2003, 08:35 AM
i like it better without arms too. they dont look like they belong. and about that ICQ conversation.. drugs are a wonderful thing =)

oh about props and the like.. they're wooden people without arms.. they have guns that dont require guns to fire.. they just jump on these levers and the guns shoot. maybe a battle scene is a bunch of them bouncing forwards and shooting at the same time. everything they use is made for wooden people without arms.. get it? it could be interesting. they can even have little cars that work like those seesawing platform things you see on railroad tracks on cartoons. where there's two of them jumping up and down on each side. the possibilities are endless. good luck.

03-13-2003, 08:57 AM
Wow! this is so encouraging ..
I haven't much time these days to play about with this sort of thing.. I wish I had more, but all the work I get is web-based/ Flash stuff. One day I'll get a position with some 3D.

I wonder if anyone else has the urge to help me create some props, hats, weapons, vehicles etc.. ?

Just for fun of course.

Here's another pic, this one has a General and the beginnings of a tank.

03-13-2003, 09:16 AM
Terrific stuff!
(And add my vote to the voices supporting the armless guys -- I can see rifles just sorta stuck to their sides...)
The general needs something suggesting a face -- perhaps a tacked on nose or a goatee.
The tank looks adorable -- but my military mind just needs the barrel to be straight (unless, of course, it is a Slurpee firing tank).

03-13-2003, 09:23 AM
The general needs something suggesting a face
Oh yeah.. I thought the same thing. I thought a monocle would do the trick.

03-13-2003, 11:29 AM
I like the monocle but i would add a mustash too. It would balance it out more. Right now it looks a little strange.


03-16-2003, 11:25 AM
A real thin moustache.

Or one like the soldier's, only grey/white. Maybe have a swagger-stick stuck to his side.

The cannon on the tank is great... I can see it swelling and straightening out as the shell is fired, then recoiling back into its twisted shape. :)

I have troubles with the general's hat. I keep getting a WWI impression of the figures, and the rim around the side and back of it throw that off. Maybe shrink it down on the back and sides so the front forms a sort-of bill, and change the color to black.

But other than that, it's a great concept and looks terrific. Keep going!

03-17-2003, 04:01 PM
Perhaps this thread should be moved to the "WIP" section.. :)
I modelled a 'munitions box, still yet to surface it, I need to borrow someones digicam. Or I could always try and scan it. hehe, could you imagine?

03-19-2003, 12:28 AM
The texturing begins:

04-22-2003, 04:33 AM
ok .. the arms are in the bin and I've been thinking about these guys a bit..
I modelled a plane for them to fly.. and I'm going to give the 'pilot soldier' some flying goggles and a scarf.
I think I'm going to give them some eyes.. but I'm still umm-ing and arrh-ing over it.. what do you think?

Here's the plane:

04-22-2003, 06:07 AM
I can't believe ive been missing out on these funny little blokes!!

I'd say no eyes, i can't see how eyes would be on these guys, apart from tiny black dots, which wouldn't put much across! Suppose they could blink and stuff!

I'd leave the eyes though! Put them where you put the arms!

and i LOVE the munitions cases, the textures look so weathered and nice!


04-22-2003, 06:08 AM
I can't believe ive been missing out on these funny little blokes!!

I'd say no eyes, i can't see how eyes would be on these guys, apart from tiny black dots, which wouldn't put much across! Suppose they could blink and stuff!

I'd leave the eyes though! Put them where you put the arms!

and i LOVE the munitions cases, the textures look so weathered and nice!


Cant wait to see the animations!

04-22-2003, 08:06 PM
Yaaaay! The `armless soldiers are back!

Little, blinkblink black dot eyes would be fine I think. In the soundtrack you could have a xylophone `tink tink!` noise when they blink.

I love the shape of the aeroplane, but I`d love it more if we got very visible, plastic moulding seams and peeling decals on it. That, or have it as a wooden model, like the soldiers, making a set.

Please: more more more!! This thread makes my day. :)


04-24-2003, 02:06 AM
Hi, I'm kind of lost when it comes to texturing stuff like those munition boxes.

How do you go about texturing like that??

Tutorial for us texturing dummies??


04-24-2003, 01:11 PM
They have "implied" arms and eyes. The guns are held in the position they would be in if the arms were visible. As for the eyes, no eyes. Just lines for emotional content. Lines that appear when they blink, or scowl or are surprised but are normally invisible. Sort-of a cross between eyebrows and eyes.

At least that's the way I look at it.

04-26-2003, 09:40 AM
I'll toss up another vote for the armless versions. :) These guys have lots of personality for having so little features. Thats a good thing. And I love the tank...that twisted turret is great.

04-26-2003, 10:44 AM
Armless it is!

I really think this thread should be moved to the "I thought I had finished but have now been inspired again" category. :)

Originally posted by peder
Hi, I'm kind of lost when it comes to texturing stuff like those munition boxes.

How do you go about texturing like that??


Peder.. I have a wooden crate at home that this model is based on, it used to have all my paints in it, hence the coloured marks all over it..
I made a morph layer, unwelded all the points along any seams and folded it out flat, took a screenshot and created a UV map.
To make the actual texture, I have just been trying to scan the crate.. that is some crazy operation I can assure you.

07-06-2003, 10:55 AM
very nice works :)

07-07-2003, 12:32 PM
Yea, I'd deffinitely go for the Worms Armaggedon look.....It seems like a lot of animated movies are doing that now...hmm. Another thought is just giving him hands and no arms like raymond.

anyways, just a though.

07-07-2003, 01:13 PM
Okay, this is something that's bugged me for awhile now

you unweld points...

how do you separate the newly unwelded points? if you click on them, you select all :(

07-07-2003, 03:33 PM
To select a single point that is on top of other points:

1) Select the 'point' (and with it all the other points)
2) Press i - this will bring up the point info
3) Using the Point Info dialogue, deselect individual points one by one.

07-08-2003, 02:54 AM
Ah those little lads - its sirring up british pride already - Our Boys! Ahem. Definitly better without arms. Looking good so far. For weapons, perhaps just have the little wooden rifles or wahtever simply floating infront of them. Less is more in this case i think. That crate is looking great so far.

[ unweld tip ] Unweld the polys, then hide the ones which have the verteces you dont want to select, then select the point that is left ( the one you want to pick) and then hit unhide.

07-12-2003, 01:05 AM
I like the suggestions of working wothout the arms. The Arms look like they may cause difficulty if you need him to handle things as they look a little short. you mentioned the need for as gun as he has a bandolier. On suggestion that would endear you with the moralists is to not show the gun, but just the sound effect and let the viewer fill in the rest. Another idea may be to use an over the shoulder shot showing the back of the head and shoulder of the character and the barrel and bayonet of the gun, Let the viewer puzzel over how he is holding it ;)